2021’s carnage follows a nationwide crime wave that has seen homicide rates explode across the country. In Philadelphia, the murder rate had already started to creep up as of 2018. Philadelphia recorded 353 and 356 slayings in 2018 and 2019 respectively before a very violent 2020 that saw 499 murders on the year.
With about four and half months of the year still to go, Philadelphia has already recorded more murders in 2021 than any year from 2013-2016. The city recorded a high of 280 murders in 2015 in that period.
Philadelphia’s recent homicide numbers are the highest since 2007 recorded 391. The city is almost certain to reach the grisly benchmark of 500 murders in 2021, one of the highest raw totals in the nation. The city’s murder rate of 20.2 per 100,000 is the 12th highest in the nation and second highest for a city with a population of more than 1,000,000, trailing only Chicago in that regard.